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The Aramex songo.info Champions Race 2014

21 Mar 2014

WOW! What an event – such a great vibe and such great spirit!

 

Once again, the Aramex songo.info Champions Race  certainly didn’t disappoint. It truly is such a special event that we love hosting and with the incredible support we get from the cycling community & sponsors it will no doubt continue to grow from strength to strength.

The set up

 

The opportunity to showcase to the Kayamandi community the talent that inspires our songo.info kids is truly invaluable. There is such a depth of talent in Kayamandi and other townships, we believe strongly that with the work that we are doing & with your support, not only are we enabling & empowering the youth but also contributing to a better and brighter South Africa.

 Trophies

We are super proud that this year we were able to introduce a Future Champions Kids race as well as the Ladies Champions Race.  The opportunity for our future talent to race in the presence of the worlds best is inspiring for the kids and it was great for all to see the great talent that is around in female mountain biking! We proudly followed suit of the other great races with equal prize money for the Men and Women’s race although at a more humble level J (Huge thanks to the podium winners who generously donated their prize money back to us – again demonstrating the spirit that surrounds this event.)

 Excitement started building from 2pm when all the kids and interested Kayamandi community gathered on the banks to watch the preparations. Thanks to the songo kids and community friends who were ready to help out at a drop of a hat, to prepare our home ground to proudly welcome our guests.

spectators

The Aramex Future Champs race was a great show of our future talent and all got behind the kids fighting it out. Huge congrats to Jarrod van den Heever for taking the top podium step followed by Joshua de Freitas in 2nd & Harrie Malan in 3rd.

 kids race

 The Aramex Ladies Champions Race was a stellar line up with all of the Absa Cape Epic podium contenders taking part.  Annika Langvad & Ariane Kleinhans from Team RECM showed great teamwork and dominance, coming in 1st and 2nd respectively. Closely behind, in 3rd was the great Ester Suss of Team Meerendal who chose to celebrate her birthday with us. Next across the line was Hielke Elferink and the lovely Laura Turpijn also from Team Meerendal Wheeler Bix. Thank you to all the ladies who lined up to race and for giving it your all.

 

Ladies line up

 

Next up was the Aramex Men’s Champions Race – and what a race it was! The strength and depth of the field was amazing with +50 of the best mountain bikers from across the globe. The atmosphere was electric as the race started at a blistering pace.

mens lining up

Konny Looser from Team Meerendal started hard and fast to set the pace, after the next few laps  Team BMC worked tactically with our very own Christoph Sauser interchanging 1st, 2nd & 3td in and exciting demonstration of strength & grit.

Susi climbing

As the break away left our sight we were all left wondering who would come through the REDBULL banner down the hill in top position. The crowd went wild when 3 riders emerged close on each other’s wheels and it was down to a nail biting sprint which saw our very own Christoph Sauser take his 3rd win of the Aramex songo.info Champions Race! Apart from the amazing display of talent of all the riders that we all got to witness, what was particularly moving was to see Susi swamped by the children of Kayamandi all wanting to be close to be to their Champ and high 5 him! As Susi tweeted “it’s the only race where I need some kind of security! Not threatening but otherwise I would not make it to the podium” such is the love and adoration that the community have for him and all that he does!

Crowded 

Following prize giving, the riders & close friends were invited up to our clubhouse where we proudly & with extreme love unveiled our inspirational & memorial, I RIDE FOR BURRY wall. This is a wall in our clubhouse, which we have dedicated to our much loved Burry! Thank you to all for taking the time to pen your memories and love for Burry – the light & legend that was Burry Stander will always live on and be as bright as ever, inspiring us all!

burry wall

  The success of the Aramex songo.info Champions Race is because of so many truly generous, amazing people – there are too many to list personally but the following need be mentioned:

  • Riders: Thank you – without you we wouldn’t have an event - YOU ROCK!
  • Aramex: Andre, Mark, Melissa & the entire team
  • Meurant & team – Amarider
  • Specialized: The whole team 
  • Team Meerendal: – Herman & the entire team – you guys are all great and we greatly appreciate your support!
  • Reeds – always giving & moving us!
  • Biogen – fueling our kids with the best nutrition
  • Penetron – non-stop support!
  • Julius Bar – supporting our Education program & our dreams
  • Velocity Sports Lab – unwavering!
  • Squirt: keeps us going
  • Redbull: gives us wings!
  • StillwatersSport: for always being there, for reminding us what we have forgotten and jumping straight in to help!
  • Paul Valstar, Max Cluer, Francois: the voices & entertainment and our loudest advocates 
  • Eunice Visage: Outsider Communications, PR extraordinaire
  • Steven Smuts - SnapSport Media & Sportgraf: – for the fab pics
  • Ride In – Gavin & Brit: the best BTM friendly venue ever
  • Stellenbosch Municipality, Kayamandi Police & security: without you, we could not hold such a successful event.
  • Darryn Stow: our great BMX coach – who gives selflessly
  • Trophy makers: proudly made in Kayamandi
  • Eunice Myataza: our amazing trustee, Educational support head and mother to all
  • Jonine  van de Merwe– for jumping straight in and getting things done
  • Hannie and the Fontys volunteers
  • Kayamandi, Stellenbosch & the entire MTB community!
  • The songo.info kids & yound adults: you are all gems – with bright futures and lots of greatness ahead of you! 

  If we have omitted anyone – please forgive us; it is not for lack of gratitude but probably lack of sleep! 

Last, but most importantly: Songo Fipaza and Christoph Sauser, the powerful partnership that is, without doubts inspiring and shaping future generations! THANK YOU!

 Wishing all the riders a safe and successful Absa Cape Epic – you all have our gratitude and will have our support… although at times we may be a little biased ;-) 

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